Sunday, February 13, 2005

Book 1, section 7

Here Augustine describes the self-centered drives and impulses of infancy as sinful. Of course, the notion seems preposterous today. A modern person should praise God for implanting these behaviors into infants, as the effect of these behaviors is to signal adults to tend to our needs and wants, without which babies would suffer and die. Of course, in the time of Augustine there was no such thing as developmental psychology.

The following quote that Augustine takes from Psalm 51:5, is the most damning, most pessimistic of all:

"But I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."

So, according to Augustine's literal interpretation of the Psalm, the very next infinitessimal moment after conception, a zygote is guilty of sin.

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